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Another Soft Hackle Question


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23 replies to this topic

#16 utyer

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 07:00 AM

Syl Nemes in the first two books on soft hackles describes feather prep and tying them in from the butt end not the tip. I started tying soft hackles after reading The Soft Hackled Fly, so I started tying them with the hackles tied in by the butt. I don't think it would matter all that much, I now tie most of my smaller soft hackles with the hackle tied in by the tip.
"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#17 Soft-hackle

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:20 AM

rockworm,
you are not in a minority. Many tiers tie in by the stem. I think they are specifically speaking of Partridge, here. Sometime it is wise and necessary to tie in by the tip, and some tiers prefer to do so. I learned to tie the best wets from the Leisenring book, which shows you tie in by the stem. However, I've adapted tying in at the tip because the results are better in certain applications and for certain end results. Generally, I start my wet flies--and that includes soft-hackles, and flymphs- like the illustration, below

IPB Image

Like others have said in this thread, how you tie the hackle on is a matter of preference. I'll add to that and say it can also be a matter of how you want the fly to look or the end result.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty. Edward R. Hewitt

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#18 BKAFLY

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 11:46 PM

I tie soft hackles in by the butt ends most of the time. Some feathers obviously have thicker stems and are harder to get the look you want though. I find that it is much faster to tie in by the stem. I have problems tying in by the tips with some ruffed and especially spruce grouse feathers.

#19 soft hackles

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 06:42 PM

Hey all. I am new to the site, but immediately saw this thread on my favorite style of flies. I am a tie by the tip guy as well. While Nemes demonstrates tying in by the butt in his early books I heard an interview with him later in his career where advocated tying in by the tip. The reason given was that the hackle fibers at the tip are thinner and more flexible, important because the natural action of the hackle in the water is the key to it's success. I tried to find that interview to post a link but couldn't remember it's location on the web.

#20 Sagittarius62

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE(rockworm @ Feb 15 2008, 12:28 AM) View Post

Yikes!

I just noticed this thread and find myself in the (very) minority. For soft-hackle flies I almost always tye my feathers in by the root and then wrap rearwards to my awaiting thread, which I then wrap through the hackle collar. Thus my hackle is locked down by several wraps of thread. An additional advantage is that should the hackle break (which is a common occurence when using the tiny marginal coverts of starling, snipe, etc) it will break at the hackle pliers and won't need to be retyed to the hook.

Dave Hughes in Wet Flies advocates this technique, and it makes sense to me. Also, the feather butt is locked down under the body of the fly, If the fly has a fur body or thorax, that feather butt disappears anyway. That being said, I am pretty new to the whole soft hackle thing, and I tie them butt first, tip first, distributed wrap, compensated wrap or palmered. Like Mark said, it is whatever is best for a certain fly.

#21 quillknot

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 09:14 PM

I ALWAYS TIE IN BY THE STEM, IF I TIE IN BY THE TIP I FIND THE DAMN THING ALWAYS TWISTS ON ME MORE SO WHEN USEING PARTRIDGE


FROM THE FAT UGLY WELSHMAN

PLAY THROUGH THE HAND

NOT OFF THE REEL

SNIPE AND PURPLE WILL SAVE THE DAY........

#22 flytyierforheir

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 06:32 PM

There is a great clip on youtube explaining the diffrent ways one should tie a soft hackle. This is a clip put out by flyfishvideo.com and the person tying, Jeff Hines, is frankly one of the best "soft-hacklers" I have personaly ever seen. I think he has 1 or 2, but the one that I know of is titled: "How to tie a Partridge and Orange". It shows you how to get the best out of your feather. Look it up, its good stuff.

#23 hog trout

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 07:48 AM

Try stripping one side of the hackle, makes a nice wrap.

#24 flytyierforheir

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 03:54 PM

Yes thats true, but when you get down to the smaller sizes (anything under a 16) that weakens the feather considerably. If you do that be aware of the amount of pressure your're using.

Paul